I finally received word from Amazon that the stolen story is being removed. Thank you to all who contacted me about this. I share with your frustrations that someone has done this, and I really have questioned whether to take my stories down from some sites. For now, I will leave them as they are. I’ve never wanted to turn my love of writing JAFF into a profit making venture. Instead I’ve chosen to leave them up so that, perhaps, they may inspire someone else to discover their writing voice through our community and our shared love of Janes Austen’s characters. So whoever stole my story, shame on you. And unfortunately, I feel like living proof that “No good deed ever goes unpunished.”
It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you all know that my faithful, amazing, awesome, giving editor, Charlene Dargay, passed away early this morning after a lengthy battle with health issues. Charlene wrote to me out of the blue one day offering to help me when I first started posting my JAFF. She saw something in me that was worth her time and that was possibly the greatest compliment I have ever received as a writer. You see, Charlene made her living with words, both as a speech writer and as an editor. That she so graciously gave her time and expertise to helping me still blows me away. I’ve donated every penny – not that there have been many – that I have earned on stories she helped me with to one of her favorite causes as a thank you. She was patient with me, laughed with me, cried with me, and talked me down off the shelf several times.
I will miss you, Tish. You were a trailblazer and a lover of all things LSU. I will always cheer for your beloved Tigers in remembrance of you. Of course, unless they are playing my Devils. I know you understand.
I was notified yesterday that someone had stolen No More Tears and published it on Amazon under the title Romancing Mr. Darcy. I have notified Amazon of the issue and hope to have it resolved in the next few days. Thank you to all of you who let me know. I’ve left it online for free so that people could enjoy it the way I was able to enjoy some amazing Jane Austen Fanfiction when I discovered it 17 years or so ago. I may be revising that stance now that this has happened, at least for No More Tears. We’ll see. I’m sorry it took this to make me come out of hibernation. Life has been very busy for me, COVID aside.
I had no idea I would be nearly 7 months between posts. What can I say but this story title should not apply to waiting for posts…
Life has been busy. This was my son’s last season to march drum corps and I had no clue how much his life would take over mine. I found myself following his adventure on his Instagram page and waiting daily for texts from him. I even got a couple of surprise phone calls. They were good phone calls with great news. He ended up winning his part of solo and ensemble competition on the trumpet and his corps, the Concord Blue Devils won their 18th world championship 3 days later. What a way to go out. We took our vacation to watch him perform that last week and I sobbed when their final show was over. My dear husband just held me and let me get it all out. I was fine afterwards and just so proud of my son when the scores were finally announced. Such joy on his face and in my heart.
All that to say here is the next 8 pages of my story. It’s completely unedited by anyone other than me, so expect a few typos!
Part 2 of Patience is a Virtue is now up. I’ve decided to post these things on their own pages for now. More backstory and such. I hope it gives you a better opinion of the old dragon.
Okay, I’m a long time overdue posting anything new. I started a 30 hour a week job at the beginning of September and kept my very part time job at the same time. It’s helping us pay the bills and start to pay down some debt – which turned out to be not one but two car loans.
Anyway, I’ve been working away, albeit slowly, on a new (to you folks) story and still (slowly) editing letters for publication some day. As an incentive to try and get writing more frequently, I’ve decided to start posting the (very) rough draft of Patience is a Virtue. This story has surprised me in how complex it has become. I’m not sure I got my back story the way I want it, but it can be tweaked later if need be.
So to set the stage, Lady Catherine is desperate for Anne to wed Darcy, and for good reason. Enter Elizabeth Bennet, who unwittingly becomes a part of a very different sort of love triangle. Yeah, I’m writing a love triangle. Trust me, I was shocked when I realized what I had done. Don’t worry, you know me, our favorite couple will not do anything immoral. There will be HEA for them. And we’ll have to wait and see how many characters I end up killing off. As of other traditional pairings… meh. I’m still not sure who will end up with whom other than Darcy wins Elizabeth before its all said and done.
My wonderful editor has some health issues. This means I’m at a standstill getting Letters edited. Soooooo… I’m looking for someone (or two) who is interested in joining my team and providing feedback. I am NOT looking for a proofreader. That’s the one area I have completely covered, but I do need some critique of the rough draft. I’d prefer some experience, but I’m willing to give you a shot if you can convince me to.
If you’re game, shoot me an email through the link on the Contact Me page, or leave me a comment here.
I confess, I’ve not done any writing in months. It’s track season and, well, it’s track season and it is over in 3 weeks.
The next thing on my to-do list is to get my son off for the summer with The Blue Devils. Through the generosity of many folks, including a few from here, we were able to raise enough money to pay for his dues and his transportation costs.
The one remaining headache is that his housing for his pre-tour rehearsals time from mid-May to Mid June just fell through this week. Sooooo…
Once again I ask for a little help. We are looking for a room to rent for 5 weeks that is within a 30 minute drive of Concord from approximately May 12th through June 20th. He’ll be at rehearsal for 6 days a week starting May 21st. If you have a lead on a room we can rent, would you please leave me a comment and I can contact you through your comment.
Thanks! And yes, once track season is over I will have a lot of time on my hands for writing…
It’s been a few months.
Since then I was given a large enough Christmas bonus to replace my laptop that I constantly wanted to throw through a window. I once again have a MacBook and I’m much happier.
Letters is still with my editors. They have lives too and theirs decided they was much more important than mine there for a while. Work still continues and I hope to have a book ready soon.
Writing on Patience is a Virtue continues as well. The new laptop means there are no more excuses and I’ve started to set goals several days a week to keep me going. I had a major case of writers block that I am doing my best to bust through with the writing goals. SO far so good. I now have roughly 38,000 words typed in and things are progressing. Lady Catherine is a revelation and I think you will enjoy how she is turning out. I admit I have a soft spot for the haridan, and she just keeps proving she has unexpected depth.
As you have probably heard, plagiarism is a huge issue in our fandom right now. I have struggled with what to do about it and have decided to leave all of the stories completed before 2013 free online for the foreseeable future. Most have been there for years and I really do not want to take them down just to publish. To me they are a gift repaying those who went before me.
I’m to the point where I am writing to publish. Ive said that before. I need to pay for my son’s car insurance!
However, there is another expense that is more pressing and if you have enjoyed my writing over the years and would like to help, it would be appreciated.
I’ve talked about my son over the years. He is a talented trumpet player with a passion for the marching arts. He’s a sophomore at Arizona State University majoring in Music Education. It is a very prestigious program for his degree and very difficult to get into, especially on trumpet. Additionally, he has 2 years of eligibility left in Drum Corps International (marching band on Steroids). For him, drum corps is more than a love of performing, it’s also an internship and as well resume building for his future career as a music educator. He earned a spot with the 17 time world champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2016 season. He will spend three months rehearsing, traveling and performing all over the US with the corps. This takes money – over $3400.00 worth for him. If you would be willing become a sponsor for him, either leave me a comment or email me and I will give you information on how you can do so. Every little bit helps. If we pay in full by February 28th, we even get a $400 discount.
Thanks for your consideration and your continued patience with my sometimes MIA muse!
Now that you’ve had the chance to read Letters, I thought I would give you a glimpse into how the story came about.
If you’ve ever read any of my explanations about how I come up with my stories, you know that I always start with a premise and then work my way to my plot from there. When I begin writing, I have my basic premise and a fairly good idea of what the end will be, but most everything else in between is rather fluid. I have a bare bones outline in my mind, but I pretty much allow my imagination loose.
(I should stop here to remind you that Letters is a working title. The final title will be the number of letters that end up in the story and then Letter. So if there end up with 26 letters, the title will be Twenty-Six Letters.)
Anyway, when it came to creating the premise for Letters, I asked myself what could be the circumstances where Elizabeth married Collins willingly, and not because her father was dying or something. Others have done that. I decided that for this to happen, she had to marry him very young. And so I choose to bring Collins to Longbourn when Elizabeth was 14/15.
We know that in canon Collins’ father has died sometime before the start of the story, and that he was not a nice man. I have been around teens enough as a coach to know that a parent can make life miserable for young men and women. If Collins came to Longbourn right after his father had died, he’d be at sea and looking for a positive father figure to replace the hard man who was his real father. When he met Mr. Bennet, he had to have met someone who was as opposite his own father as he could ever have met. Again, remember in canon that Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins senior were at odds so this isn’t that big of a leap in character understanding.
So, I have an impressionable William Collins, a young Elizabeth Bennet, and a shrewd Mr. Bennet that could see he was dealing with a young man who was starved for attention.
From there it seemed obvious that Mr. Bennet saw an opportunity to provide for his family’s future with a little effort on his part. He knew his daughter could manage a man like Collins if she wanted.
And so we have this emotionally scarred William Collins who comes to Longbourn and becomes enamored with being a part of a family so unlike the hard one he had been raised in himself. He was needy and Elizabeth filled his emotional and spiritual needs. He was grateful she could accept him – he had not yet developed his self-importance as a shield against rejections. So we have a younger William Collins that adored the woman who consented to be his wife. He literally worshiped the ground Elizabeth walked on.
Now I had my premise. Of course, I needed Elizabeth to be a widow when they met, and thus the reason I killed him off. I knew I wanted to use canon timeline with Collins taking the living in Hunsford in 1811. That meant that I needed to kill him around the time of Ramsgate and thus I filled in one of the major elements of the story. From there I came up with the letter to warn Darcy so that when he showed up at Longbourn and found a pregnant Elizabeth Collins, he had a reason to be in her debt and not make an ass out of himself. I’ve always enjoyed D&E meeting and getting along well from the start.
I figured out pretty early on that I wanted to use the correspondence and things that represented change, or the next direction for the plot. They are like milestones you have to accomplish to finish a task. A letter warns Darcy about Wickham, a note announces that Mr. Bennet has died. Love letters show how much the couple has come to need each other. That’s why they are there and that’s why they are the title. It was fun and different to write it this way.
Anyway, if you have questions you’d like to ask about the story, now is the time to ask.